I hate this night. Each year I dread it with an intensity that causes my stomach to roil and my head to ache. I usually handle my demons by reiterating my 9/11 story, but not this year. If anyone wants to read it, they have only to search back through the blog to 9/11/14 or 9/11/13 or…
But tonight, I can’t get my mind off those left behind: the parents who should never have outlived their children, the children growing up without parents or grandparents, the husbands and wives still trying to reinvent their lives as singles or with new partners they had never even met those many years ago. The heartbreak goes far beyond Manhattan, or the East Coast, or the Pentagon, or a lonely field in Pennsylvania. My heart hurts when I think of those who lost someone on 9/11 unable to sleep tonight, perhaps crying until the tears can no longer flow.
I can’t help but recall the eerie silence in the following days, when not a single plane graced the sky and not a single vapor trail patterned the horizon. It was as if the whole country had stopped to regain its breath and its perspective. I’m not sure we managed the perspective part.
Sadly, the legacy of 9/11 continues as the responders fall to illnesses undoubtedly caused by exposure to smoke and debris and the death toll continues to rise.
To all who read this, I encourage you to send your warmest thoughts and prayers to those left behind, and to those who came to the aid of the victims that are paying such a high price for their heroism.